Common Myths About Drug Addiction and Recovery
- Lisa Herron
- 23 Sep 2019
For a very long time, addiction was simply not a topic that you were allowed to openly talk about and if it was, it was always a subject of gossip. Along with harmful stereotypes regarding addicts perpetuated in the media, this has led to a lot of widespread myths surrounding drug addiction.
Part of what addiction education is to break down these stigmas and debunk these myths for a better understanding of addiction and how drug addiction recovery centres in Toronto can help.
Myth #1: You Could Spot an Addict in a Crowd
When you think of an addict, what image comes to mind? We probably all have some kind of assumption about what addiction and addicts look like. However, in reality, you probably wouldn’t be able to pick most addicts out of a lineup. There is no checklist that addicts need to tick off in order to be one. Addicts can be people who look just like you.
Myth #2: You Only Have to Do a Drug Once to Become Addicted
There are many people who try a drug one time and do not become addicted. For instance, there are many legal drugs that doctors prescribe to their patients, such as opioids for pain, that people do not become addicted to. Similarly, there are some people who take drugs recreationally and they do not become addicted either. Addiction is typically the result of some kind of underlying reason, such as physical, emotional, or mental pain. It takes more than just trying a drug to become addicted.
Myth #3: Only “Hard” Drugs Are Addictive
This is strictly untrue. Of course, “hard” drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamines are dangerous and can be incredibly addictive, typical “recreational” drugs such as marijuana and alcohol can also be addictive. When you take any kind of mood-altering substance, your body has the potential to become both mentally and physically dependent on it. Dependency is what leads to addiction, which can be to anything.
Myth #4: If They Really Loved You, They Would Stop Using
In most cases, addicts cannot simply choose to stop abusing drugs. It’s a lot more complicated than that. Addiction is a disease that almost always takes time and effort in order to overcome. However, that does not mean that the person experiencing addiction does not love and care for you. Oftentimes they understand how their substance use can cause harm to their loved ones, but recovery takes time. The best that we can do in this situation is to support those we care about. Part of that might be encouraging them to find a drug addiction recovery centre in Toronto that can help.
Myth #5: Getting Rid of Drug Dealers Will End the Drug Problem
If history has proven anything, it is that this approach has failed time and time again. Attempting to rid communities of drugs and ostracizing the people who sell and use them only forces this issue below ground. Doing so will only lead to additional problems, including accidental overdose, increased potency of illicit substances, decreased support systems and resources for addicts, and more.
Myth #6: Harm Reduction Enables Substance Abuse
Similar to the point above, without harm reduction initiatives in place, people would still use and abuse both legal and illegal substances. However, they would be doing so in a much more unsafe and risky manner, which could possibly result in death by overdose. Harm reduction is a person-centric proactive approach to drug addiction. Its goal is to help mitigate the worst outcomes of addiction, providing people who are struggling with addiction safe options and, ultimately, saving their lives.
To read more about behaviours that do enable substance abuse, click here.
Myth #7: You Have to Hit Rock Bottom Before You Can Get Help
A common perpetuation of addiction is that you need to hit rock bottom before anyone will help you. However, hitting rock bottom can actually be much more destructive and do more harm than good. You shouldn’t have to be at your lowest point in order to seek help or for someone to try and help you. In fact, it is probably much more beneficial to seek treatment at a drug addiction recovery centre in Toronto before you hit your lowest point.
Myth #8: Rehab Doesn’t Work
Part of the reason why this myth is so widespread is that it is true that many addicts will relapse after leaving rehab. But we do not see that as a failure. Relapse is a part of the recovery process and given how powerful a disease addiction truly is, it might take someone more than one attempt to become sober. That does not mean that rehab doesn’t work for everyone or that it should be ruled out as a recovery option. What works for one person may not work for another—recovery is all about finding what works for you as well as choosing the right drug addiction recovery centre in Toronto.
Freedom From Addiction is one of the leading drug addiction recovery centres in Toronto. We offer a person-centric approach to addiction treatment and recovery, which includes a variety of techniques, including individual and group counselling, relapse prevention, and continuing care planning. If you or someone you know could benefit from our services, contact us today.
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